Sushi in Japan.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Hotch-A-Do (Milwaukee, WI)

Ever since I started going to Beans and Barley (which is right next door) and being a regular on the East Side, I always wondered what Hotch-A-Do was. I didn't know if it was a bar, maybe a coffee place, I really had know idea. Finally a couple weeks ago one of my friends invited me for breakfast before work one day and on that day I finally had the chance to check out what Hotch-A-Do was all about.

While walking in I got the feeling of a coffee shop or a cafe. It's set up quite nicely with a few booths and a good amount of tables and chairs. It seems like on a busy day it would get packed quite quickly. I really enjoyed the looks of the place, it had a good amount of charm to it with a mix of old stone, painted walls, and a few works of art hanging on the walls. I think the stone wall parts gave it a nice touch and went well with what they were going for in the interior. The area where the works are and where it looks like you can order stuff reminds me of a coffee shop, which is nice because coffee shops always give off a pretty comfortable feeling. I'm not really that excited to talk about the inside of the place though, so I'll get into the food now

I'm not going to lie, usually I do take a look through the hole menu but since it was breakfast, I only really took a look at that section. I must say that the breakfast selection is quite nice, it's not huge but it has just enough to satisfy different tastes and makes it easier to choose something. Things on the menu include breakfast favorites such as egg Benedict, (or on their menu Eggs Benny) biscuits and gravy, pancakes, breakfast burritos, and omelets. I had a really difficult time choosing between the eggs Benny, the blueberry and banana pancakes, and the Hotch Hash, which involved eggs, cheesy potatoes, and all sorts of veggies. For anyone who is a veggie or vegan, if you haven't been here yet, you should give it a try because they can make all of it friendly for you to eat, and you can put tofu in place of anything. Prices were not awful, maybe a bit high for some people, but I was expecting it from a place that probably gets fresh and local foods, so it's usually worth it. I believe the cheapest breakfast item was the granola, which was $5.50, everything after that starts at $8 and ends at about $9.50. It took me awhile to decide, but I finally just chose one of my breakfast favorites, eggs Benedict.

One thing I noticed about some of the items is that a lot of them had avocado placed in them somehow. I don't know if Hotch has a love for avocado like Comet has for bacon, but it was an interesting add on. Especially for my eggs Benny, which was your basic eggs Benedict with a English muffin topped with an egg, ham, an avocado, and the always wonderful Hollandaise sauce. I was really happy that my meal also came with cheesy potatoes, which is usually one of the most amazing side dishes that one would hope. The portion wasn't huge, it was average at best but I'm not going to complain about that at all. At first bite of the Benny, I wasn't that impressed to tell you the truth. The avocado didn't really add anything to the mix except some soft texture, and besides that unique touch, it tasted like...well eggs Benedict. The egg was good, the sauce was good, the English muffin was good, but that's all it was...good. There was really no kick to it, it didn't add anything new or make me want to burst out into fits of joy. It was an average eggs Benedict that you could probably get anywhere. Am I saying that it was bad? No, not at all. I enjoyed it, it tasted good, fresh, and homemade but it wasn't memorable. The cheesy potatoes on the other hand were the holy grail of this meal. I didn't want to stop eating them, you could give me a whole plate of them and I'd be perfectly happy without anything else. They were cheesy, fresh, had a bit of spice, and were just overall brilliant. I would have to rate these as some of the best cheesy potatoes I've ever had, and if anything, stop here to get some. In the end, the $9.50 I payed was worth it just for the potatoes, while the Benny left me wanting more, it was still a decent price fan an average meal. While I finished everything and it left me full and not to disappointed, my friend was still working on her breakfast burrito that she ordered.

The breakfast burrito was a lot bigger than I expected it to be. For $9, I guess I should of expected something that wasn't tiny. The fillings in the breakfast burrito were the norm, filled with organic eggs, cheese, potatoes, tons of veggies, and topped with salsa. Like my eggs Benedict, it was also topped with an avocado, which is still very interesting to me. While I only took a little chuck of her burrito, I would have to give it the same review as I did with my Benny. While stuffed full of goodies, and giving you a good amount of food, the taste was a little bland and didn't offer really anything new or interesting to the dish. I was actually kind of surprised how boring the taste was. The salsa and the huge chucks of potatoes were the best parts of it, and added a lot to the burrito, but couldn't save it from being completely average.

At the end of the day, I wasn't as happy as I thought I'd be with the food here. I'm a big fan of Beans and Barley and was expecting the same tastes and quality that I would expect from 2 competing food places. Even though I was mildly disappointed by the food, I still would go back because there are many different foods to try. The waiter, who was super friends and gave great customer service, told me that I should try the Hotch Hash because it was made mostly with the cheesy potatoes. I also want to go back and try their blueberry banana pancakes, because that doesn't sound like something you could go wrong with. Even though Hotch-A-Do was a little pricey, and wasn't my favorite, I hope that I can go back sometime soon for more breakfast, or even check out their lunch and dinner, which may change my mind about the place. If your looking for a restaurant that serves fresh organic food, or looking for a good veggie or vegan meal, I would say check it out. Just because I was a little let down doesn't mean you will be. So if you are ever on North Ave on the East Side, give it a try and let me know what you think.